The paper introduces augmented instrumental choreography as an embodied method of composing that focuses in on and magnifies the physical movements involved in performing instrumental music and uses choreographic processes in developing musical material, turning the choreographic nature of instrumental performance into a significant compositional resource and illuminating the continuum between the kinaesthetic and the auditory.

It outlines the rationale behind investigating the physicality of instrumental performance, based, among other sources, on Peggy Phelan’s and Philip Auslander’s texts in performance studies, Jean Baudrillard’s analysis of the dangers of the extensive mediatization of the contemporary world, Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception and Nicholas Cook’s critique of the conventions surrounding musical performance. 

It then looks at the web of interrelationships between different areas of interest that define musical compositions employing augmented instrumental choreography in a series of case studies of my own works and illuminates parallels with the oeuvre of the so-called ‘first wave’ of physicality-centered composition as represented by Helmut Lachenmann and Mauricio Kagel, as well as that of my contemporaries, such as Evan Johnson, Aaron Cassidy, Simon Steen-Andersen and Neil Luck. Among other aspects, the case studies demonstrate how in some instances a performer’s personal traits may become essential features of a work – an outcome that can be considered a natural result of an embodied method of composing – bringing the work very close to the realm of dance and physical theatre and potentially prompting the composer to overcome the various divisions of ‘musician’, ‘dancer/choreographer’, ‘composer’, ‘performer’, enabling him/her to define himself/herself as the ‘creator’ of the work in a much wider sense.

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